Sunday, October 11, 2015

Your Giving Allows Others to Give

At the end of September, we had breakfast with a man we first met as our campus pastor and professor of Religion.  I've written a bit about that morning here, but I want to record some thoughts which have come back to me through the last 11 days.

Our campus pastor has gone on to be a parish pastor, and when he retired, he started working for Novus Way, which runs 4 Lutheran camps.  Lately, he's been raising funds for a campaign to expand Luther Springs.

It's an amazing turn of events, because not too long ago (12 years?), Luther Springs was close to insolvency, and now, the camp has to turn away participants because there's not enough space.

Our former campus pastor talked about his experience going to churches and synod meetings and the smaller units that make up the synods.  He has noticed that pastors tend to think that people won't donate, but when he talks to the people, they are happy to donate.

And he has also noticed what many a person has already observed:  one person's gift allows others to feel comfortable giving.

In my younger days, I thought my giving was useless, because I had so little money.  In my midlife days, I still feel like I don't have the kind of money that would allow me to fund the whole project.  I know that all of us donating smaller bits of money can add up to the whole project, and so I donate.

What I forget:  my giving signals others that this project is worthwhile.  In some way, it's my giving (or your giving, or anyone's giving) that gives others permission to give, and often more generously than they might have otherwise.

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